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30 Nov 2016

Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

The holidays are here; department stores have decked the halls and Christmas commercials are playing on every TV station. The festivities are here, and as we know, the holidays are notorious for drinking and other temptations.

The holidays are tough for many in recovery, so it’s never too early to start preparing for this challenging time of the year. But with some extra preparation, it’s possible to stay both sober and enjoy the season.

Here are some of our essential tips for staying sober during the holidays:
  • Surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Support is critical at all points of recovery, but the holidays can require extra care. Keep positive company and avoid negative influences.
  • Find local meetings when traveling. Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you should skip your meetings. Look online to find a local AA or NA meeting in the area you’re visiting.
  • Volunteer. There are few things more rewarding than giving back to your community. Even when things are rough, volunteering helps remind us there are many people in less fortunate situations. Volunteering allows you to focus on other people and helps maintain a positive outlook.
  • Make new traditions. Experiencing the holidays through sober eyes allows you to start fresh. Make new traditions that you will carry through the years. Play a board game after Thanksgiving dinner, eat Chinese food on Christmas Eve, decorate cookies or go on a neighborhood scavenger hunt—the possibilities are endless!
  • Continue your daily routine. The holidays are a hectic time of the year, but don’t lose sight of your daily hustle and flow. Maintain your momentum and stick to your routine. Wake up at the right times, eat well, exercise, talk to your mentor regularly. You know, the usual stuff.
  • Avoid the holiday blues. Everyone gets into a holiday funk here and there. When you’re feeling down, make a gratitude list of all the things you’re grateful for this season. Or, call your mentor or a trust friend for a pick-me-up.

How do you deal with the holidays? Share your tips on Twitter at @SoberChi!

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